Date of Award

Fall 2007

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Heather A Turner


Changes in public and private pensions as well as demographic and economic changes will likely lead to higher labor force participation rates for older adults in the future. Little research has examined the impact of work on the well-being of older adults beyond simply comparing those who work with those who do not. Using data from the 2002 and 2004 waves of the Health and Retirement Study, this thesis examined whether specific job characteristics---namely job flexibility, job stress, and the workplace climate's friendliness to older workers---were associated with depressive symptoms among a group of workers aged 62 to 73. Cross-sectional analyses indicated that job stress and workplace climate were associated with depressive symptoms. Longitudinal analysis revealed that workers whose employers would permit older workers to move to less demanding jobs showed decreases in depressive symptoms across survey waves compared with those who could not make such a move.